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Ingredients for Life


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This artist's conception symbolically represents complex organic molecules, known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, seen in the early universe. These large molecules, comprised of carbon and hydrogen, are considered among the building blocks of life. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is the first telescope to see polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons so early -- 10 billion years further back in time than seen previously. Spitzer detected these molecules in galaxies when our universe was one-fourth of its current age of about 14 billion years. These complex molecules are very common on Earth. They form any time carbon-based materials are not burned completely. They can be found in sooty exhaust from cars and airplanes, and in charcoal broiled hamburgers and burnt toast. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are pervasive in galaxies like our own Milky Way, and play a significant role in star and planet formation.


Mediatype image
Creator NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)
Date 0000
Relation Spitzer Finds Life Components in Young Universe [ http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/ssc2005-15/release.shtml ]; Understanding Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons [ http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/features/articles/20050627.shtml ] Spitzer Space Telescope [ http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/spitzer/ ]
Relation Spitzer Detection of PAH and Silicate Dust Features in the Mid-Infrared Spectra of z~2 Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies [ http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/0504336 ]
Insightuid nasaNAS~12~12~64291~168762
Source http://sscws1.ipac.caltech.edu/Imagegallery/image.php?image_name=ssc2005-15b
What Spitzer Space Telescope
What Earth
Identifier SPITZ-ssc2005-15b
Addeddate 2009-10-06 01:38:05
Publicdate 2009-10-06 05:40:44

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Uploaded by
BonnieReal
on 10/6/2009
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